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Full text of "The shrine of Saft el Henneh and the land of Goshen (1885)"

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The present Memoir embodies the results of my exploratory campaign during the 
winter season of 1885. Of these results, I have already had the honour to present a 
brief vtvd voce report, in the course of a lecture delivered at the Royal Institution 
during the month of October in the same year. 

The Members of the Egypt Exploration Fund may probably ask how it is that 
they have not sooner received this work, and they may be justly surprised that a 
memoir so moderate in length should have been in preparation for nearly two years. 
I can only plead in reply the fact that I was under the necessity of first completing a 
very heavy task begun several years before, which task is now finished. 

The greater part of this Memoir is devoted to the interpretation of a monument 
which has largely contributed to determine the position of the Land of Goshen ; a 
subject especially within the domain of the Egypt Exploration Fund, in the service 
of which Society I have thrice had the honour to be engaged. Priceless objects of 
antiquity are daily disappearing in Egypt, and nowhere does the work of destruction 
go on so rapidly as in the Delta. While there is yet time — while still the kindly soil 
preserves some store of unrifled treasure — let us endeavour not only to rescue these 
invaluable relics, but to make use of them for the solution of those important 
geographical and historical problems which confront the Archaeologist at every step. 
Burned in the lime-kiln of the fellah, or broken up and sold piecemeal to the passing 
tourist, the inscriptions which contain the materials necessary to our studies will ere 
long be wanting. 

It may perhaps be said that there is not much in a name ; and I admit that the 
shrine of Saft el Henneh presents fewer points of interest than the store-chambers 
and inscriptions of Pithom. I nevertheless venture to hope that this Memoir, which 
is the logical and historical sequel of the first, may receive some modest share of that 
favour with which " Pithom" has been honoured. 


Malagny, May, 1887. 

Tl ^^^ 


Saft el Henneh 

The Thirtieth Dynasty 

The Monuments discovered . . 

Phacusa, Goshen, Ramses 

Khataanah, Kantir 

Tell Botab 







Towards the close of December, 1884, wLile 
exploring the sidea of a canal which branches 
off at Zagazig and joins the canal of Isma'ilieh, 
I came to a large village called Saft el Heimeh, 
The country all around is peculiarly fruitful. 
The luxuriant fields bear witness to the fertility 
of the soil ; while the villages, which are among 
the richest in Lower Egypt, are governed by 
sheikha who generally are men of large fortunes. 

At the first glance, one sees that Saft el 
Heaneh stands on the site of an ancient city 
of considerable extent. Close to the canal, a 
large space is covered with mounds of decayed 
bricks and broken pottery, indicating a Roman 
settlement, where the direction of the streets is 
still discernible. This spacs is bounded on the 
south side by the remains of a wall built of 
large, crude bricks, and about 36 feet in width. 
The area of the old city does not end there. 
Farther to the east, beyond a brackish pond, is 
a high mound of ancient date, now used as a 
cemetery. The whole village is constructed 
on the ruins of old houses, many of which are 
still to be seen on the south side. It is pro- 
bable that some years ago, the mounds covered 
a much larger space of ground than now ; but 
as in the case of alt these old Egyptian cities, 
the mounds have been worked for sebakh, and 
thus have disappeared by degrees. 

Walking through the streets of the village, 
one sees, budt into the walls of the houses, 
fragments of hard stone, diorite, porphyry, red 
or black granite. Sometimes much larger pieces 
are used for foundations. The mosque, which 
is now the school, is supported by Greek 
columns of grey marble, some with their capitals. 
Another large fragment serves for the threshold 
of what is called the old synagogue, where tlie 
traditional well of Moses is shown. Among 

this multitude of fragments I found only two 
that were inscribed. One, an angular thick slab 
of red granite, with sculptures on both sides; 
now used as a corner-stone at the end of a 
street. This monument is of a very fine style, 
bearing the name of the first king of the 
thirtieth dynasty, NeJchlkorheh, Nectauebo I. 
(pi. viii. c 1 and c 2). Another is the top of a 
tablet of black granite, bearing the name of 
Ptolemy Philadelphos (pi. viii. d) ; but it is 
unfortunately in a most deplorable state, being 
half sunk in a pond outside the village, where 
for years, if not for centuries, it has been used 
by the fellaheen women as a board on which 
to wash their linen. 

The most interesting place at Saft el Henneh 
is a declivity which, starting from the large 
brick wall, slopes down towards the fields. It 
is partly occupied by a garden and a field of 
henneh. When I went there first, I saw at a 
distance of about a hundred and twenty yards 
from the wall, a large hollow half full of water, 
in which lay several blocks of basalt, and a 
block of black granite inscribed with hiero- 
glyphs, I soon perceived that this block formed 
part of the monument to which must once have 
belonged the two large fragments deposited 
near the door of the Bulak Museum. These 
monuments have been studied by Prof. Brugscli, 
who read upon them the uEime of the uome of 
Arabia. Tiie stone which still lay on the spot 
was a useful addition to the very imperfect 
knowledge we had of that important district ; 
the more so as I -aw in the inscription a geo- 
graphical name wliich does not occur in the 
Bulak fragments. It was therefore desirable 
to atttmpt excavations at Saft, but it could 
not be done before the spring, when the water 
would have suflBciently subsided. 


My first object in excavating at Saft was to 
recover as much as I could of the famous shrine 
of Saft of the time of Nectanebo II., the last 
of the Pharaohs, and thus to restore, at least 
in part, this important monument, known only 
from the fragments at Bulak. I began, there- 
fore, to work round the granite block, I soon 
found the walls of the temple (of. pi. x.) which 
originally contained the monoUth ; but beyond 
two more fragments of the naos, I discovered 
no inscribed stones in the temple itself, but 
only 142 basalt stones worked on one side, and 
prepared either for a wall or a pavement. I 
cleared the area of the temple down to the 
sand. The enclosure is made of brick walls from 
15 to 18 feet thick. The building originally stood 
on the bank of a canal which followed nearly 
the same course as the present Abu-I-Munagge, 
and which certainly was the old Pelusiac branch. 
The old bed may be traced as far as Belbeis, 
Between the temple and the great city wall is a 
space about 120 yards wide, which, judging 
from the nature of the soil, must once have 
been covered with houses. I there made several 
soundings, and sank pits down to the natural 
soil, but without result. The wall itself is 36 
feet wide, and the bricks are more than 15 
inches long. There are also traces of a less 
masBive wall in froBt of the temple, at right 
angles with the city wall, which very likely en- 
closed the temenos. Outside the temple, in the 
direction of the village, I found in a corn-field 
two fragments of a colossal statue of black 
granite. The buckle on the belt bears the 
cartouche of Rameses II. (pi. viii. a). I also 
purchased from a fellah in the village a fine 
broken statue of Nectanebo IL, now in the 
British Museum. 

This certainly cannot be called a rich collec- 
tion of monuments ; but after I had worked 
there for a few days, I soon became convinced 
that Saft el Henneh had already been robbed of 
its choicest relics. It is a mine which has not 
only been worked, but thoroughly ransacked. 

and its most valuable monuments have either 
been scattered or destroyed. When the sheikh 
on whose land I was excavating became re- 
assured as to the object of my researches, he 
told me that some twenty years ago a great 
number of inscribed stones were unearthed on 
that spot ; but since that time they had dis- 
appeared, most of them having been used for 
building purposes. The great number of broken 
pieces which are built into the walla of the 
houses prove that the sheikh spoke the truth. 
It is possible that some of the dispersed monu- 
ments have found their way to the museums of 
Europe. There is no doubt, for instance, that 
a basalt ichneumon which was shown to me by 
the learned keeper of the Ambras Collection at 
Vienna, Ritter von Bergmann, comes from Saft 
el Henneh. It exactly resembles the ichneumon 
represented on pi. vi., and the inscription is 


nearly identical : 

1 ^*= 


Atum, thp. 

Ka of Heliojinlis, mho resides in the house of 
the sycamore. It is also likely that a fragment 
in the Louvre, on which Professor Brugsch has 
discovered a list of dekans,' came from the 
same place. 

The way in which the monuments of Saft 
have been destroyed is very well illustrated by 
what happened to the shrine. Twenty years 
ago, when digging for agricultural purposes, 
the fellaheen came across this splendid mono- 
lith, covered with sculptures inside and outside. 
A pacha who lives in the neighbourhood 
immediately ordered that it should be broken in 
pieces, thus acting in accordance with a super- 
stitionwhich prevails throughoutEgypt.namely, 
that the ancient monuments contain gold. The 
first thing to do, therefore, is to break them up, 
in order to arrive at the precious metal. Two 
of the fragments were carried by the pacha to 
his ishet (farm), where they remained until they 
were taken to the Museum of Bulak (pi. i. 

1 BrugBcfa, Thee. Inscr. 
Louvre, p. 73, 

p. 179} Pieiret, Inscr. du 



and ul. B. a, b. b). Several others have been 
built into the bridges of Saft and Tahra, the 
sculptured surfaces being first erased. My first 
task was to collect all the fragments that I could 
find, and to put together as much as I could 
of this valuable monument. Besides the big 
block which I saw on the occasion of my first 
visit (s. a), I dug out three more at Saft (s. b, 
s. c, s. d). On the side of the canal near the 
isbet of Mustapha Pacha was an angular piece 
(m), with part of two outside faces and a little 
of the inside (pi. i., v., vi., vii.). Near that 
spot, with the help of tackles, I dragged another 
fragment out of the canal (c). I think there is 
yet another close by, but ihe canal was so deep 
that I could not reach it. This was all I 
could recover of that fine monument, of which I 
thus restored about one-half.' Judging from 
these facts it is evident that Saft el Henneh has 
been rich in precious objects of antiquity, and 
that irreparable losses have been caused by the 
vandalism of the inhabitants. 


Looking at the monuments of the twoNecta- 
nebos, it is impossible not to be struck by the 
beauty of the workmanship as well as by the 
richness of the material employed. Egyptian 
art undergoes a new resurrection more complete 
than under the twenty-sixth dynasty. There 
is more vigour in the style than at the time of 
the Psammetichi ; perhaps less delicacy than in 
the works of the Saite kings, but a decided 
tendency to revert to the stern beauty of the 
works of the great Pharaohs. The hiero- 
glyphs engraved on the tablet and shrine of 
Saft, and on the cornices of Horbeit, are cer- 
tainly among the most beautiful in Egypt. In 

' Since tliiBwaB written, all rhe blocks have beeu brought 
to the MuBeum of Bulak, with the exception of two, s.C, 
which ie still buried in the garden of the sheikh, am) c, 
which fell back into the canal. The preseut Director of Ibe 
Museum, M. Gi'chaut, had the blocks pnt together, and all 
that remains of the shrine may be seen uow at the entrance 
of the Musenm. (March, 1887.) 

the i)roportions of the monuments there is also 
manifested an ambition to rival the colossal 
buildings of earlier dynasties. Thus the Nec- 
tanebos did not cut up the colossi of former 
kings, or engrave their names on monuments 
which they had not erected ; they forbore to 
follow the example of the kings of the twenty- 
first and twenty-second dynasties. They again 
worked the quarries of Aswan and Hamamat, 
and brought thence the enormous blocks which 
are found in several places in the Delta. For 
their models, they seem to have chosen the 
kings of the twelfth dynasty. It is to the art 
of the Amenemhas and the Usertesens that the 
art of the Nectanebos may best be compared. 
Nectanebo II. took for bis coronation name the 
first oval of Usertesen I, For kings who spent 
the gi-eater part of their lives in the Delta, it 
was natural that those ancestors who seemed 
worthiest of imitation, and who recalled to them 
the most glorious traditions, should be the 
kings of the twelfth dynasty, the builders of 
Tanis and of several cities on the Pelusiac 
branch of the Nile. 

From the Greek writers we derive much in- 
formation concerning the kings of the thirtieth 
dynasty. We perhaps know more about them 
than we know of any others of the Pharaohs. 
Judging, however, from the monuments which 
they erected, they must have been much more 
powerful than might bo gathered from the 
narrative of Diodorus Siculus. He describes 
them as constantly engaged in resisting the 
invasions of the Persians ; and if one of them 
succeeded in holding his ground against the 
armies of the great king, the second of his suc- 
cessors was fated to lose his throne. This being 
the case, how could they find time and means to 
raise the great buildings of which there are so 
many ruins in the Delta ? Certain it is, that in 
the whole course of ray Delta explorations, the 
names of the two Nectanebos are among those 
which I found most frequently, as well as those 
of Rameses II. and Ptolemy Philadelphos. 



I have mentioned and described elsewhere ^ 
the gilt pillar bearing the name of Nekhthorheb 
which I discovered at Pithom. I can adduce 
other instances in which I came across the name 
of this king. In a small village called Tawila^ 
north of Tell el Kebir, the people told me that 
in one of the houses there was a stone block 
which was said to be inscribed. I dug in the 
soil at the place which was pointed out to me, 
and I soon found a large block of red granite, 
broken at both ends. It was 12 ft. 2 in. long, 
3 ft. 3 in. wide, and 20 in. thick. It was 
originally twice as thick, for on the narrow side 
there is a vertical inscription, and portions of the 
characters with the side line of a cartouche which 
belonged to another inscription running parallel 
to the first. The inscription in large hieroglyphs 
very deeply cut is the beginning of the name 
of Nekhthorheb (pi. ix. h.). This stone formed 
part of a pillar originally belonging to some large 
edifice. It had been sawn in two, and one of the 
halves had been brought there, I imagine, to 
make an oil-press. Two square holes had been 
carved in the stone for planting wooden posts, 
and between them there was a small furijow in 
the form of a quadrangle, with a gullet for the 
flowing out of the liquid. How came this 
block to a place where it is quite isolated, and 
where there are no traces of ruins ? I think it 
must have come from a tell called Tell el 
Ahmar, about four miles higher up than Tawila 
on the side of the same canal. I there saw an 
old settlement, and a capital of basalt. 

I will but mention Behbeit el HagaVy near 
Mansura, the colossal ruins of which have 
often been described. It was probably the 
birthplace of Nekhthorheb, who there founded 
a temple which was enlarged by Ptolemy Phil- 
adelphos. There also the name of Rameses II. 
is found. His cartouche is inscribed on the 
base of a column close to the house of the 
sheikh el heled. 

1 (( 

The Store City of Pithom," p. 12. 

Near the station of Abu Kebir, N.E. of 
Zagazig, is the locality called Horheit^ generally 
considered as the site of the old Pharbaethus. 
I visited the extensive area covered with the 
ruins of the ancient city; and in the village 
itself, in a small courtyard between two houses, 
I saw three enormous granite blocks, such as 
are seldom met with in Egypt. They are 
fragments of a ceiling ; one of them is sunk 
in the soil, making an acute angle with the 
ground ; and the part which is buried must evi- 
dently go down to a great depth, so as to support 
the enormous weight of that which is above 
the soil, and which is some 24 feet in length. I 
should not wonder if the whole block were 
twice that length. We thus gain some idea 
of the proportions of the temple. Here also 
Nekhthorheb is the author of these gigantic 
monuments, and here again I saw the name of 
Rameses II. on a cornice built into a wall. 

At Saft el Henneh, if we observe chrono- 
logical order, we find Rameses II., then the two 
Nectanebos, and then Ptolemy Philadelphos. 
It is not extraordinary that the kings of the 
thirtieth dynasty should have attached special 
importance to the eastern part of the Delta, and 
have multiplied great structures in that part of 
the country ; for I cannot help thinking that 
these Egyptian temples, surrounded by thick 
walls built sometimes of bricks and sometimes 
of granite, and communicating with the outside 
world through but one door, or two, were capable 
of being employed for purposes of defence, and 
of being turned to the same uses as the Temple 
of Jerusalem, or the fortified convents of the 
Middle Ages. A small garrison well provided 
with food could easily hold out for some time 
in an Egyptian temple, and undoubtedly it was 
the place in which the people of the city de- 
posited their valuables in times of war or 
insurrection. The Nectanebos were constantly 
exposed to invasions from the east. They had 
again and again to fight the armies of the 
Persians; therefore they built these temples 

I i 


which were primarily religious building?, but 
which could also be converted into military 
forts, and thus help in the defence of the 
country. This double usefulness of the temple 
has, I believe, occasioned the ruin of many. It 
was not iconoclasU only who so thoroughly 
destroyed the temple of Tunis. Such a com- 
plete overthrow demands too much time and 
labour to be the work of a fanatical mob. 
It is far more probable that in some of the 
numerous wars which were waged in the Eastern 
Delta, whether under the Roman Empire or 
later,' this well-built stronghold was purposely 
destroyed, that it might not fall into the hands 
of an enemy. 

Further explorations in the Delta will pro- 
bably bring to light other monuments of the 
Thirtieth Dynasty, which, considering all the 
works still remaining, must certainly have been 
more powerful than would appear from the 
writings of the Greek authors. It is also pos- 
sible that the conquest of Egypt by the Per- 
sians was less easy and complete than as 
described in Diodorus. Several circumstances 
lead us to question the correctness of the Greek 
historian when he says * that Nectanebo, after 
his defeat, gave up Egypt as lost, gathered his 
treasures, and fled to Ethiopia. Probably he 
was buried in Egypt. On the shrine of Saft 
there is unfortunately no date left. There are 
but a few doubtful signs (pi. iii. 4) which may 
be the remains of one. The contents of the in- 
scription seem, however, to point to a long 
reign, at the end of which Nectanebo may have 
become vassal or tributary of the great king. 

I will describe the monnraents of Saft in 
chronological order. The first which occurs is 
the colossal statue in black granite of Raraeses 


For inBUnoe, in the Bucolic war under M. Aureliii 
FlinUerB Petrie, "Tania," i. p. 41. 
Lib. xvi. 51. 

II. There were two fragments in a corn-field 
a short way in front of the temple near the 
village. One is a foot with part of the leg, the 
other is the waist with part of the apron (pi. 
viii. a). On the buckle of the girdle is engraved 
the cartouche of Rameses II. The buckle is 
8 inches in length, which gives some idea of the 
size of the statue. Such a monument could only 
belong to a temple of some importance. We 
learn from these scanty remains that Rameses II. 
erected at Saft a building of large proportions. 

From the nineteenth dynasty we pass over to 
the thirtieth, and to its first prince Nekhthorheb, 
to whom belongs the granite slab used as a 
corner-stone. It is part of a large stele, or of a 
wall inscribed on both sides with religious texts 
(pi. viii. c. 1 and c. 2). The sculptures were 
executed in several registers. Tlie king is seen 
in the attitude of worship, with raised arms, 
and there are fragments of his two cartouches. 
On one side there is reference made to putting 
somebody, very likely a god, on the ")] III tes 
neferu, which is the usual name of the sacred 
boats. The style of this fragment, and espe- 
cially of the hieroglyphs of the large cartouche, 
is remarkably beautiful. 

Then follow the monuments of Nectanebo 
II., Khejjerkara Nekhiiiebef. I begin with the 
broken statue which I purchased with great 
difficulty from a reluctant fellah in the village. 
It is uow in the British Museum. It is all that 
remains of a standing statue ; head and feet 
have been brokeu off, perhapa intentionally. 
On the back of the pillar by which the statue 
is supported, is an inscription in two columns, 
the signs of which are placed face to face (pi. 
viii. b). On the right side, are the names and 
titles of the king ; on the left, those of the deity 
to whom Nectanebo had dedicated hia own 
statue. That deity was the god of Saft el 
Henneh, So^ft or Soptahhein. 

The attribute which the king assumes on his 
standard is ^, Thema (pi. i, 1, ii, 1, iv. 1), 






which can only mean " The Destroyer.^* Horus the 
Destroyer ^ov simply ** The Destroyer ^^^ was a title 
adopted by other kings before Nectanebo ; User- 
tesen II., for instance, when he appears before 
Sopt in a tablet of Wadi Gasus.^ In a later age 
it was assumed by the Emperor Tiberius. Nec- 
tanebo II. calls himself Horthema^ a warlike 
god, another form of the god Anhur^ translated 
as Ares by the Greeks, and one of the divinities 
of the Sebennyte nome, the birthplace of the 
Nectanebos. Nekhthorheb put Anhur in his 
coronation name; and Nectanebo IT. put 
Horthema in his standard. Horthema is gene- 
rally represented bearing a lance,* as it is said 
in the inscription of pi. i. 1. 4 ; but in the temple 
of MedinetHabu, Rameses III. takes that name 
at the moment when, armed with a mace, he 
smites his enemies.^ The other titles of Nec- 
tanebo are only common formulas which are 
nearly identical for all the kings. It is said 
that he loves Sopt, the lord of the East^ Har- 
maJchis the great god^ the lord of the 'mountain of 
BaJchUy the prince ^ the king of the nine gods} 

By far the most important monument of Saft 
is the shrine of Nectanebo II., found quite 
fortuitously about twenty years ago. I have 
already related the misfortunes which befell this 
magnificent monolith, one of the largest of its 
kind. Its thickness is 6 feet 8 \ inches, its width 
6 feet ; as for the height, it is not possible to 
determine it exactly, but it could not have been 
less than 7 feet 3 inches. The four faces were 
covered with inscriptions, as well as the inside 
and the ceiling. I have given (pi. i. and pi. iii.) 
a restoration of the monument, both front view 
and back view, with an indication of the way in 
which the remaining blocks fit into each other. 
It shows that the back and the right side are 

* Zeitechr. 1882, p. 204. 

' LaoEone, Dizion. Mit. pi. xv. p. 678. 

' Leps. Denkm. iii. 209 and 210. 

^Jp "1*1*1 The L used as determinative for number 

nine, is frequently met with in inscriptions of that time. 
Cf. pi. iii. 1» aud Grolenischeff, Stele Mettemich, p. 14. 

fairly well preserved, while the greater part of 
the left side and of the front has disappeared. 
These parts probably lie in the foundations of 
the bridge of Saft. On all four faces the lower 
part is occupied by three Unes of an inscription 
in large characters, which I will call the dedi- 
catory, or historical, inscription. In front, the 
two doorposts are covered with two similar 
vertical inscriptions of nine lines each, containing 
hymns recited in honour of Sopt by the king 
himself, who is represented on the right as 
king of Lower Egypt, of which he wears the 
crown, and on the left as king of Upper Egypt. 
Of this last, there are but a few signs left. 
On the other faces, above the dedicatory in- 
scription, are six horizontal registers containing 
inscriptions and mythological representations. 
The cornice at the top was adorned with hawks 
spreading their wings over the cartouches of 

The translation of the dedicatory inscription 
is not easy, on account of the many abbrevia- 
tions which occur in it. The scribe seems to 
have been afraid lest he might not have room 
enough, and so contracted the inscription as 
much as he could. 

On the front side it consists of the name of 
the king repeated three times, and preceded by 
one of the three qualities which are generally 
united in his title. He is said to love the local 
god who is called 8opt^ the lord of the East ; the 

spirit of the East^ ^^ 4 and the hawk, or 

Horus of the East ^^ 4 . Above, are the 

hymns pronounced by the king speaking as the 
god Thoth, to whom the hymns are attributed 
(pi. i.). 

Upper horizontal lines. . . . ** praise to Sopt 
given by the good god, the lord of the world 
Kheperkara ; the son of Ra the lord of diadems 
. . . (made) by Thoth himself, once when he 
celebrated this venerable god. 

1. . . . ** in his house . . . against his enemies. 
He came and killed Apophis ; and opened the 


good year; 'the gods and goddesses are re- 
joicing and exultant in hia sanctuary for he 
chained the enemy with his wings. 

2. . . . " the divine hawk, Tlie land of the 
East is in joy ; he has killed hia enemies.' 
Mannu is in delight ; when this spirit has 
ascended and goes over his horizonj his ene- 
mies are cut to pieces. When he has crossed the 
sky with favourable winds, he reaches the good 
Ament, the inhabitants of the West are in joy ; 

3. " seeing he comes near them their limbs 
tremble in seeing him; he is always in their 
mouths;' none of them dare to rise; their 
limbs are stretched before him ; he is the only 
one, he who chooses{?) where he will approach 
the mountain of Bakhu, When he rises 

4. " on that mountain, all the quadrupeds of 
the land are shouting to him ; his rays and his 
splendour are upon them ; he brings on the 
noon, when the mysterious hour has passed in 
Nut ; the stars of the North and South * have 
no rest Horthema, his arms carry the lance ; 
he slays Apophis 

5. " in front of his boat ; Horus takes hold of 
the helm in order to steer the great boat. The 
mighty Safekh, the lady of writing, litters her 
sacred formulas in his divine barge. He came 
and smote his adversaries in his form of Ahti.' 

6. " He himself causes his body to increase ' 

' Jw* ,_ ^ ^ i he opeueU Ihe good year. I believe 
tlie whole liDe has reference to astronomy. Brugsch, The- 
saurus, i. p. 77- 

— — ''=>.,o e I M 

* tp r yi *^=— j^^ There are four mittancee m 
iliLS hymn in which after a verb we find the two signs O 
which should be read Ra, where we expect tofiod only the 

pronoun "<— .. The other inatatices are: I. I [' | ^ i — 7. 

1. 2 

1.8 I 

' They are incessantly pra 
' Brugsch. Thes. i. p. 30 a 




° IJ 8 ^^ This name appears only once ir 
tion of Kotnan time, as that of a goddess, 
means, he who holds the string or the net. 

' Cf. Todt. 87, f. 3. 

in his name of Horus Sojit ; he completes it in 
the appointed hour in his name of Mahes ; he 
liimself provides it with hia limbs in his name 

7. " of Horns of the East. He smote them 
(his enemies) by the heat which is in his body 
in his name of Horthema. He pierced them in 
one blow; (their bodies) are thrown to the Bast 
and to Bakhu. He smote them 

8. *' on the mountain of the East, their limbs 
are consumed by fire. He feels the good wind 
every day in his name of the victorious Horus. 
He increases every day in his name of Hor Sopt. 
Hail to thee to the limits of the sky, Sopt 
Harmachis who is . . . 

9. . . . " gods and goddesses ... of joy, 
every day are united pleasure aud joy, spirit of 
the Bast, hawk of the Bast who is Ra in Bakhu, 
he crosses the sky himself ... on the Bast of 
his boat every day." 

This hymn was the first text which presented 
itself to the eye of the spectator. We here 
find the repetitions which are so common in 
religious texts, and which often make them so 
tedious to the reader. Besides there are the 
singular etymologies where a proper name is 
derived from a word having a quite different 
meaning, but which sounds ahke. The most 
striking example of those quibbles, for which the 
Egyptians seem to have had a great taste, is in 
1. 6. The god is called makes, a lion ; and why P 
Because he completed viahm (his body) him- 
self; mahsu is thus the origin of mahes, for no 
other reason than a similarity in the sound of 
the two words. 

The characteristic feature of the god on which 
the author of the hymn dwells at greatest 
length, is his warlike frame. He is a fighting 
god, as we shall see further when we study the 
difl'erent forms which he assumes. 

I pass on now to the texts on the other sides 
of the naos, and first of all to the inscriptions in 
large characters which I have called dedicatory. 
I begin on the left side (pi. ii.), where it is 


related under what circumstances the ahrine 
was raised to the god. Part of the traLslation 
is conjectural, owing to the number of abbrevia- 
tions in the words. 

1 . " The good god, the very brave, the de- 
stroyer who drives back . . . ; the wise and in- 
telligent who fights for Egypt against the rebels 
of the provinces, who treads under his feet the 
Asiatics, who delivers his abode from their 
violence ; the firm heart ; he who goes forth and 
never falls back ^ one instant ; who shoots with 
his bow at the right time ; who provides temples 
by his great intelligence ; what he says * takes 
place immediately, as what comes forth from 
the mouth of Ra, the king of Upper and Lower 
Egypt, Kheperkara, the son of Ba Nekht- 
nebef . . . 

2. " This venerable god Sopt, the lord of the 
East, remembers his goodwill towards his 
majesty ; and all the gods, when he (the king) 
comes before them, are celebrating him in order 
that he take care of the divine bodies (images 
of the gods) during his lifetime and until many 
years afterwards. When the king desired to 
pay special honours ' to this god (Sopt) in a 
secret sanctuary which was not known to the 
priests, aud where all the gods of the province 
hid their bodies, the god put in the heart of the 
king to cause to be seen . . . 

3. " (after) many years, without knowing 
howit happened, they saw him distinctly, how he 
was raised upon his couch ; * then there was joy 

1 MMM ■ I believe here the — »— to be no abbrevia- 
tion of the raasc. pron. 1^ (cf. Todl. 17, var. tol. 7, 11, 
18, &c.). We Gad several instances of the same kind : 

ID this last instance the following words indicate that it is 
a god who is meant. We find also, pi. i. 1. ^i /\ * ■ ■■■ "^ '1 
' "^ abbrev. for ^^ Cf. I. 3 ^^ for ^= ^> 
' \^^ I read this eipreBsion ; ^ ^ -'^ '^ ? ' 

This is one of the most diiGcult paite. This sentence has 

saying: The prince has appeared in the East; 
he has adorned the world with his rays, thou 
art raised very high to be the victorious lord. 
Then the good god (the king) embelUshed his 
sanctuary, and made it the Amen kheperu (the 
hiding-place) of the lord of the East for bis 
own body ; and all the gods who follow bim are 
on his right, and all the gods in his place are 
on the left, and when he comes forth all his 
gods are before him like Ra when he appears 
on the horizon, and the like when he rests in 
his sanctuary every day." 

Thus it was in commemoration of a miracle 
of some kind that the shrine was erected. It 
is most unfortunate that the end of the second 
line should be destroyed, as we do not know 
exactly what happened. However, it is clear 
that either the priests did not know where the 
abode of the god was, or (which I think is more 
likely) that it was a place to which they had no 
access. The king decided that something in 
respect to those gods should be done ; but we do 
not see what it was, because of the gap in the 
stone. The result was that, after many years, 
a god whom I believe to be Sopt, is seen sud- 
denly raised on his couch. It was the cause of 
great rejoicing in the land, and Nectanebo named 
the sanctuary, " the hiding-place of Sopt." Such 

been quoted by Bmgsch in the second part of his Dictionary 
(p. 1266), but not quite coiTectly, and without translation. 
O ^B~ is a rare word which Brugech considers as a 
different form of J '^ZI ^^,^5- fo look at. I think 
that this second verb adds to the word °°^ the idea of 
seeing clearly, tiislmclli/. I already referred to the pron. 
— employed instead of I ^ in the masculine sense {I. 1 ), 
Ae for the word ^p-, the phonetic reading is given in 
the Todt. 168 B 14, /^/IlH nema l%.i^^ 
The woi-d J ^^ U ^r? n«"a means a couch, a bed with a 
lion's or a lam's head, exactly like that on which the hawk 
Sopt is sitting. The god whose body was hidden, suddenly 
appeared raised on his couch, I suppose in the form of a 
hawk, as we see him, pi. ii. 5, or as he appears in the ideo- 
graphic name of Sopt, pi. iii. 1. 



are the few facts to be gathered from the re- 
dundant style of the inscription. 

On the back, the inscription in large cha- 
racters does not contain anything historical; 
it is purely laudatory, praising the high deeds 
and the qualities of the king (pi. iv.). 

1. "... of the East, the destroyer, the issue 
of Horus of the East, the firstborn son of the 
god of the horizons, the only one, the strong- 
hold (?) of Egypt, who consumes the evildoer 
in the land and the rebellious around it,* the 
king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Kheperkara, 
the son of Ra, Nekhtnebef living eternally. 

2. . . . the god of the horizon, who rises on 
the horizon, his yellow rays shine . . . all the 
human beings live in seeing the splendour of 
Horus on Bakhu ; all the gods celebrate him 
when they see him. 

3. . . . thy throne, as victorious lord. The 
two worlds in all their extent leap for joy when 
thou risest on the horizon of Bakhu ... he 
threw the mountains in their valleys. It is he 
who protects Egypt, the eye of Ra,* and who 
watches over the bodies of the gods. I have 
enriched thy temple with all good things ; give 
me as reward the victory as to Ra, eternally." 

The inscription on the right side is far more 
interesting (pi. vi.). 

1. " The king of Egypt, Kheperkara, the son 
of Ra, Nekhtnebef , has made monuments to his 


s s 




The beginning of this sentence has been translated twice by 
Brugsch (Diet. Part 2), once as : Ddmpfer der Mordthaten 
im Lande und der Rebellionen in seineni Umkreise (p. 934), 
and again: ddmpfend den Zerfnalmer im Lande (p. 1344). 
I believe it is more in accordance with the determinative of 

\\ and its usual sense to translate it as consume, 

r&ther th&u ddmpfen, choke or quell. After ^ Q I supply 
the determinative -A the transgressor or the evildoer, I 
quite agree with Brugscb that ^ is here a variant for 
cf. pi. V. 2 : g ^. 

* "^ a name for Egypt; cf. pi. vi. 6. Brugscb, Diet. 
Part 2, p. 1339. 

father Sopt, the lord of the East, this shrine in 
black stone of granite. The doors which are in 
front are in black bronze adorned with gold ; 
and the image which is on it, of . . . and all 
that is (written) on the leather roll has been 
made of good work lasting eternally. As 
reward he has received a long: reiofn, and all the 
nations bowed down under his feet. He lives 
like Ra eternally. 

2. The good god, the king, ordered these 
things to be made of his own will himself, in 
order to preserve the divine body^ in its abode, 
after his majesty had come to Kes in order to 
make offerings to this venerable god Sopt, the 
lord of the East, on his throne, as the victorious 
lord. Thus, after periods of years they will 
see . . . His majesty has chosen his abode in 
the lifetime of Kheperkara, his son who loves 
him, Nekhtnebef, living eternally. 

3. It is the king who himself ordered to raise 
the images to the gods of Kes on this shrine in 
the lifetime of his majesty ; all the gods are at 
their places, and they are as it is (written) on 
the leather roll, as well as all the sacred cere- 
monies ;* he provided that it should be cared for 
exactly without any negligence (?) in it, when 
. . . Thoth like a follower of the god of Hesert * 
according to the number of panegyries, living 
like Ra eternally." 

This is in fact the most important inscription 
on the sanctuary ; it informs us that the place 
where Nectanebo erected the shrine was called 
in his time Kes. We shall revert in another 
chapter to this new geographical datum. 

The inscriptions in small character either 

3 |\^ for I ^i the divine body, the statue or image 
of the god, which is called also | 

pi. ii. 2, iv. 3. 


all their ceremonies sacred 


a rare form of ^%^^ Brugsch, Diet. Part 2, p. 134. 

* Mythological locality considered as the residence of 


describe what is engraved underneath or relate 
what the gods have done to reward the king 
for his benefits. It is not- possible to recognize 
the rule which the engravers have followed in 
the choice of their representations. 

Among these, we will first consider the god to 
whom the shrine is dedicated, and the different 
forms given to him. 

The moat usual form of Sopt is that of a 
hawk, bare-headed (pi. v. 4), or wearing two 
feathers (pi. ii. 5); he is croiiching either on a 
couch (pi. ii. 5) or on a stone base (id.); he 
may have before him the triangle A which 
reads '* Sopt," and which is his name. This form 
we find in the hieroglyph by which the name of 
the nome is spelt. The hawk is the ordinary, 
but not the most ancient, form of Sopt in the 
time of Nectanebo, and consequently bears his 
full titles : Sopt, the spirit of the East, the hawk 
or the Horns of the East (pi. iv. 6). Another 
hardly less usual at that timp, is that of an ugly 
dwarf with large head and beard, wearing 
feathers, with outstretched arms and wings, 
having a knife in each hand. Thus represented, 
he 18 very like the god Bes. This form is called 
Sopt tclio smites the Asiatics (pi. ii. 6, &c.). A 
third form is that of a man having instead of a 
human head, the wing and head of a hawk with 
two feathers. The body is crouched on a 
pedestal; the left arm is raised like that of 
Amon ; the right holds a bow and arrows. He 
is called " Sopt Shu, the son of Ra " (pi. ii. 6); 
and on another monument, in the Louvre, " the 
lord of war." 

Sopt Km' differs only slightly from Sopt Shu ; 
it is a hawk's upper part on the body of a sitting 
man (pi. v. 4). 

The counterpart to this form is that of a 
standing man, with the tail and wings of a hawk, 
holding a knife in the left hand and the sign of 
life -T- in the right. He is called " Sopt, the 
master of faces, most terrible" (pi. ii. 5, or pi. v. 4). 

Sopt may also be figured in human form, 
wearing two feathers, with a long sceptre in 

one hand, and various emblems in the other. 
Thus represented, he is very like the god Anhur. 
This variety is very ancient. "We have an 
early example in a stele from Wadi Gasue, now 
at Alnwick Castle, dating from the reign of 
Usertesen II. ;' another in a sculpture of Wadi 
Maghara of the eighteenth dynasty,* and another 
under Rameses II.' I am inclined to think that 
it is the oldest form of the god. He is then 
always called " the lord of the Eaxt." 

He is undoubtedly a warlike god. To him 
belongs the East ; namely, the provinces of the 
Eastern Delta as far as the Syrian frontier, as 
well as the district between the Nile and the 
Red Sea. He rises on the mountain of Bakhu, 
which is synonymous with the East ; and it is 
he who defends Egypt against the Eastern 
invaders, the Menti or the Fenkhu as they are 
called here, meaning of course the Persians, 
who were the most dangerous enemies of 

Sopt is generally accompanied by one or 
several goddesses bearing the name of Khonset 
(pi. V. 3 and 4) ; as well as by various forms of 
Horns {Hoi-mer, or Hor Si Isis), and by Amon 
represented under different forms, often with 
the body of a bird (pi. ii. 5). Among his 
attendants, one of the most usual is the lion 
Makes, who is generally represented as gnawing 
the head of a prisoner (pi. iii. 3, vi. 6, vii. 5) ; 
sometimes also as a man with a lion's head 
(pi. ii. 6, iii. 4). 

An inquiry into the rank which Sopt occupies 
in the Egyptian religion would here be out of 
place ; but I may say that from even a purely 
mythological point of view, the shrine of Safl, 
like other inscribed monuments of the Thirtieth 
Dynasty, is rich in valuable information.* I 
believe that a careful study of the texts relating 

' ErmaD, Zeitechr. 1882 p 204. 
' Lepe., Deokm. iii. 28. 
' Ibid., iii. 144. 

' For inataooe, tUe identity of Amoa nnd Hannakhis 
(pi. ii. I. 5, pi. T. 1. 4). 



to the god Sopt would lead us to the conclusion 
that it is not the rising sun which he figures, 
but rather one of the planets — Venus, as the 
morning star. 

On the left si(Je of the shrine, as far as we 
can judge from what remains, were represented 
various sacred arks which were deposited in the 
temple before the god. 

We first see the arks of Bast and Thoth 
(pi. ii. 4) ; it being always added that tliey are 
" before Sopt^ Underneath was perhaps the ark 
of Amon (ii. 5), and that of Sopt Shu. Then 
comes the ark of Sopt the smiter of tlie Asiatics 
(6), and on the same line occur the four prin- 
cipal forms of Sopt, to whom, as well as to 
Hormer and Khonset, Nectanobo is making an 
offering. The inscriptions of 1. 4 and 1. 5 are 
very much alike. They only mention that 
these arks are *' engraved ^ according to the will 
of Nectanebo^^ with his usual titles. 

1. 6. " As a reward for all this which is ac- 
cording to the will of their smi \of the son of the 
gods'] who loves them^ king NectanebOj it is given 
to him the dignity of Ba . . . of Seb; he is 
brave as they [the gods] are brave; all the land 
leaps for joy^ as the hearts are delighted in seeing 
their beauty ; his love extends all over the world 
as Ra when he rises on Bakhu^ because of his 
great piety towards all the gods,^^ 

On the back (pi. iii. and iv.) are long pro- 
cessions of divinities. There we find the four 
names of the locality, some of which occur 

1. The ideographic name ^ which is written, 
1. 1, over two goddesses. 

' The word which I translate engrave or sculpture is 
]\ I ^ t 1^ |(Brug8ch,Dict.Part2,p.l267) 

is to draw. The word A ^^^^^^^ adds the same idea as in 
French " rapporter ;" to draw or to engrave from a model, 
which in this case is a leather roll. I believe that A 
al4>iie (pi. iv. 6) is ^^ ^ | ^ |- 

2. ""."^I'^^^A ^^^^ house of Sopt; pi. iii. 1. 
4 and 1. 6. 

3. j^.^ the abode of the sycamore, 1. 2. 

4. I AI the house of the sycamore, 1. 6. 

PI. iii. 1. 1, at the end, celebrates the victories 
of the king over various nations : The barbarians 
are struck under his feet^ his hand is brave 
among the chiefs of the Greeks.^ 

1. 2. We here find mention made of a book 
which is again quoted further on, and from 
which the designs on the shrine appear to have 
baen copied. ** Chosen from the booky these 
images were made on this shrine; they tvere 
engraved by the will* of king Nectanebo,*^ 

In 1. 3 is a subject which will be found again 
almost identical, pi. vi. 1. 6. It is explained in 
the following manner : ** These gods who 7'esid£ 
in the shrine of Unty^ on her right and her lefty 
are standing on their abodeSy in the house of the 
sycamore; they are engraved by the will of king 
Nectaneboy lioing eternally ; as reward tvere 
given him panegyries in great number; the 
mountains and the sand {the plain) are bowing 
before him.^' The shrine of Unt here mentioned, 
containing the same gods, is seen in pi. vi. 1. 6. 
There are two goddesses called Unt, one of the 
South, and one of the North. 

1 4 speaks in the same way of the gods of 
the shrine of Sopt, the smiter of the Asiatics : 
" These gods who reside in the shrine of Sopt, 
the smiter of tlie Asiatics y on his right and his 
left^ and who stand in their places in Pa Sopty 
are engraved by the willy ^r.'* They are the 
same we saw (pi. ii. 6) accompanying the 

* The tree n reads here B (] Q nebs, pi. v. 2 and 3. 

5 \|/ Y^ ^37 ^ I Haunebu, a word which^ under the 

eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties, has a much wider 
meaning, but which afterwards especially refers to the 

♦ I) ^ V «^c., by the will or the command of 

His Majestj. This formula occurs repeatedly. 
' Deity of one of the divisions of Egypt. 

V 2 


shrine in which they reaide. On pi. iii. 1. 4, 
Nectanebo 13 making an offering to four animals 
over which is written : " Thon art valiant and 
brave, fhy hand is groivn to smite those who give 
trouble (?) to Egypt." Here probably followed 
a date, which has disappeared. 

PI, iv. 1. 5. These gods who stand on their 
abodes, another secret place was foun^ for them 
in the hohj space of the house of the sycamore. 
They are engraved according to the will of 
king Nectanebo. His majesty wished to pay 
special honour to hi-t fathers, sanctifying their 
images; each god is at his place, their images 
are on this shrine. 

\. 6 begins with the king worshipping four 
gods : Another place was found inside of the 
temple chosen for them ; they are engraved, ^c. 

And further : Engraved from another leather 
roll of the temple which is a book in sacred 
writing [hieroglyphics^, they are engraved accord- 
ing to the book by the will of king Nectanebo ; his 
majesty directed these holy ceremonies to be done, 
he made them in the house of his father Sopt, the 
lord of the East ; when he raised the gods in 
their abode tchen they chose their abode in his 
lifetime. The throne of his majesty is established 
among the living as firm as the shj every day. 

In the dedicatory inscription we have already 
found mention made of the other leather roll, 
the sacred book containing the canon according 
to which all the ceremonies were institnted. 

On the right aide (pi. v. and vi.) we find the 
sycamore which is called Jl fl Q nebs, and from 
which the temple derived one of its names. 

1. 2. ... to his fathers the lords of the abode 
of the sycamm-e. The sycamore is green, its 
boughs put forth their green leaves, the land is 
green in all its extent, the residence of this god 
is gre&n every day ; it puts forth its blossoms 
and all the good things ; the land of Kes is green 
in order that it may be radiant in his lifetime. 

In this line the sycamore is represented 
with the god Horns, who is considered as its 
inhabitant ; as in line 4 Shu and Tefnut, and 

in 1. 3 Hathor, are thus represented. The 
picture of the house of the sycamoro is in I. 3 ; 
we there see the tree inhabited by Sopt and 
Harmachis; behind them are three different 
forms of Khonset ; before the tree are two 
serpents called the doorkeepers of the hall ; and 
in front of the hall is another vestibule occupied 
by two serpents, the doorkeepers of the vestibule 
on the way to the house of the sycamore. 

The inscription above reads thus : When the 
king Kheperkara, the image ofRn, the issue of the 
hawk of the East, the Sopt Shu of the temples, 
the great builder ' (came to) this name in order 
to make offerings to his fathers, the lords of the 
abode of the sycatnore, perfecting Egypt in its 
appearance, renewing the abode of the sycamore^ 
7nalcing it wholly afresh, all the land was in joy 
about it, everybody was delighted, for it was made 
according to theboolcs of Ra ; wlien Ra joins the 
Rekhiu,' they cause the house of the sycamore to 

In 1. 4 we again see numerous forms of 
Sopt. The inscription appeals to the gods : 
*' Come and see all that has been done to you 
by your son who loves you, king Nectanebo 
who lives eternally; all the gods and goddesses 
. . . when Rt, joins them, the R^'khiu smell the 
excellf'nt things which he has done in the abode 
of Bakhu ; he caused your table to abound in 
all good offerings ; he renewed Mennn ^ without 
interruption; the field is excellent enriching 
your altars ; give him as reward to be lord of 
the two parts of Egypt which are bowing to his 
will hke Ra eternally." 

1. 5. " His majesty directed all these sacred 

. '^^ 

,t, builder. 

|> litt the great of tlic biiildiag!-, the 
; ■^ ^ 8 the able builder. It ia 
tliii" tliat wc must uadersUnU the inKcriptioii on the belt 
buckle of one of the colossal statues of Rameees II. at Taois 
(FliDdera Petrie, Tanis, i. pi. v. 35 c) : Ramete* the great 

I Genii of the horizon, the nature of whom is not jet 
wetl known. 

' Proper name not identiBeJ, very likely aaottier namtt 







things to be done; [the gods] see what has 
been done in their house by their son who is on 
their throne, king Nectanebo living eternally ; 
as reward that he constructed their temples, he 
receives panegyrics as Totunen,^ and he is 
crowned as king of the world ; the human 
beings and the Rekhiu celebrate him ; all the 
land is bowing before his majesty because of 
his great power over them ; the water rises 
in its season, and is excellent through its 
benefits, because he pleased their hearts in 
truth, and the land lives by it [the water] 
every day." 

1. 6. " Gome and see what his majesty has 
done towards you, lords of the abode of the 
sycamore ; reward him with the dignity of Tum 
and the duration of Ra as prince of the living 
beings ; all their hearts cling to him, all the 
foreign lands ... by his lance, their chiefs are 
protecting Egypt and guarding the Eye of Ra 
against those who bring trouble into it. Khe- 
perkara is himself its child who watches over 
the temples of all the gods for ever, for he is 
your son who loves you, the able builder in 
the house of the sycamore, the son of Ra, 
Nekhtnebef living eternally like Ra." 

In line 6 we see Tum, or as his name is spelt 
here, Atum, in the form of an ichneumon. We 
find the same god again, pi. vii. 1 ; he resides 
(pi. vi. 1. 6) in one of six different shrines which 
probably were in the temple with the rest. 
The gods who surround Unt occur also for the 
second time. It is to be observed that from 
line 5) and below, the inscription mentions of 
what material the statue of the god or the 
emblem was made, and indicates its height. 
We see, for instance, 1. 3, that the standing 
statue of Sopt is of gold and one cubit high, 
while the standing Horus behind the crouching 
Sopt, is of gilt sycamore wood and 5 palms 

* Common designation of Ftah. 

high. In line 5 and line 6 several of the gods 
are said to be made of granite stone. 

The inner part of the shrine was also com- 
pletely decorated with sculptures ; there remains 
only part of one side on two blocks, one of which 
is at Bulak, the other at the isbet of Mustapha 
Pacha. They have been put together in pi. vii., 
in order to show how they correspond, but 
there is more space lost than is indicated on 
the plate. Most of the sculptures of the inside 
of the shrine are repetitions of the external 
decoration. The first line mentions the name 
of " ihe hiding-place " (cf. pi. ii. 3), which, as 
we have seen, was given to the sanctuary by 
king Nectanebo after the miracle occurred. 

We must also notice the name of ^ ^ ® the 

territory of Uk^^ which we shall find elsewhere. 

The last monument which I found at Saft is 
the stele, reproduced on pi. viii. D, a monument 
which no doubt would be very valuable, were 
it not in so bad a state. Despite all my 
attempts to copy it, and notwithstanding that 
I took several rubbings of it, I could get no 
more details than are given in the plate. The 
tablet was erected by Ptolemy Philadelphos, 
when he had reigned somewhat more than 
twenty-two years ; at that time he had already 
instituted the worship of his wife Arsinoe, who 
is seen enthroned among the gods to whom the 
king brings offerings. It was dedicated to 
Soptj the lord of the East^ and to the gods who 
accompany him, and whom we saw on the naos. 
The first goddess sitting behind Sopt is, doubt- 
less, Khonset; then comes a god who is ob- 
literated, and two forms of Horus, between 
whom Hathor is sitting. The series ends with 
Arsinoe. Besides the ideographic name which 
occurs twice, we find as the residence of Hathor 
the place Z7fc, which is mentioned inside the naos. 

Unidentified place. 


It was Prof. Briigscli who, in his earlier geo- 
graphical writings/ first identified the nome of 
Sopt or Soptakhem with that which Pliny and 
Ptolemy, as well as the coins, call the nome of 
Arabia. All the more recently discovered texts 
have tended to confirm this identification ; and 
although I differ from Professor Brugsch on 
several points, it is upon the previous works 
of this eminent Egyptologist that the results at 
which I have arrived are chiefly based. 

We will first consider what the hieroglyphic 
lists engraved on the walls of the temples of 
Edfoo Denderah and Philae record about the 
nome of Arabia, the twentieth in the list of 
Lower Egypt. In those lists we shall find all 
the names which occur on the naos. 

The nome itself is called 


is doubtful whether it must not be read Sopt 
Akheniy the crouching hawk being a phonetic 
sign, and not only ideographic. The name of 
EIITAKSIM^ which is found on certain coins of 
the time of Hadrian, would rather point to the 
second reading. Sopt Akhem figures appa- 
rently in connection with Asia ; for in two 
texts of Denderah,* the king says to the 
goddess Hathor : " I bring thee Sopt Akheni 
containing its magazines filled with . all the 
good things of Asia." 

The capital of the nome, i.e. the religious 
capital — for we must not forget that the lists have 

^ Cf. Geogr. vol. i. passim ; Zeitschr. fiir Aeg. Spr., 1881, 
p. 15, Geogr. Dictiooary. 

'J. de Roug6, Inscr. d'Edfou, pi. 148. The secood 
printed character does not correspond exactly to the 
original ; the hawk should hare two feathers on its head. 

' J. de Roug^, Monnaies des Nonaies de TEgypte, p. 41. 

* Dnemichen, Greogr. Inschr. i. pi. 72 ; iv. pi. 126. 

chiefly a religious character — was Pa Sopt 
[\ps^ ^ * A ; ® or as we have it here 

(pi. iii. 4), n A. This name occurs in 

the inscription of Piankhi ' as the residence of 
one of the princes who reigned over Lower 
Egypt. It is also mentioned in the Assyrian 
inscription of Assurbanipal,® under the name of 
Pi Saptu or Sap to^ as the residence of another 
of these minor kings. 

The god who gives his name to the nome is 
also, as on the shrine, *' Sopt^ the lord of the 
East • who smites the Asiatics ^ ^ 

The sanctuary is called either the abode of the 

sycamore^ J r ^•^ ^^ which is the vene- 

rated tree, or the Amenlheperu (the liiding-place) 

w^.^ There is also another name 


which we have not found on the naos, ^ (^ 


" the temple of the victoriovs^^^ which corresponds 

to the title > — i [Neb Makheru'] which is given 

to the god (pi. iv. 3). 

Comparing the data of the lists with the 
inscriptions on the shrine, and with the facts 
there mentioned, we cannot doubt that the 
sanctuary which Nectanebo built or repaired, 
and in which he erected the naos, was Amen* 
kheperu, the hiding-place of the god. It is 
equally certain that this shrine actually stood 

* Duemichen, Geogr. Inschr. i. 99, 26 ; ii. 29, 4. 

* Ibid., i. pi. 77. 

' E. de Roug^, 1. 115. 

^ Oppert, Mem. sur les Rapports de I'Egypte et de 
TAssyrie, p. 81 et 90. 

* Duem. Geogr. Inschr. i. pl. 87 ; iv. pi. 51. 
' Rong6, Edfou, pl. 148. 

* Roug^ 1. 1. 

' Duem. Geogr. Inschr. i. 99, 26 ; ii. 29, 4 ; iii. 25. 

* Ibid., i. 99, 26. 

\ the capitiil of tlie uome of Arabia. 
Tims we may boldly assert that Saft el HcHiieb 
is the site of the capital of tho twentieth noiue 
of Lower Egypt, Coosidenng what the Greek 
authors say of the nome of Arabia, this is 
very import aut. 

The geographer Ptolemy ' says that on the 
east of the Bubastite branch, between the Bu- 
baatite and Sethroite nomes, is the nome of 
Arabia with its metropolis Phaciisa. We thus 
learn the Greek name for the capital of the 
nome. Phacusa is also mentioned by Stephanus 
Byzantinus, who says that it is a kw/aij between 
Egypt and tiie Red Sea, The same name 
occurs as Phnguae in the " Geographer of 
Bavenna " and in the map of Peutinger. It was 
also one of the episcopal sees of Egypt. The 
most important statement about Phacuaa is 
found in Strabo/ who says that the canal 
which runs from the Nile to the Red Sea 
branches off from the river at Phacusa. Most 
modern authors (Le P^re, Champollion, Ebers, 
Brugsch), struck by the great likeness between 
the name of Phacusa and that of the present 
village of Fakooa, have supposed that Phacusa 
was to be looked for on the site of the village. 
In that case, the statement of Strabo would 
be erroneous. No canal over started from 
Fakoos towards the Red Sea ; there are no 
traces of any such canal in the desert, the level 
of which would also have presented an insu- 
perable obstacle to a work of the kind, *We 
were, therefore, obliged to admit that the Greek 
geographer was in error. He bad placed the 
starting-point of the canal about fifteen miles 
distant from the place where it left the Nile, 
and we were quite unable to account for this 
misstatement. But we now see clearly that 
there is none. Strabo is absolutely correct; he 

' t. iv, 5, 63. See tho remarkable chapter of Mr. 
FlinderB Petrie (Nancratie, p. 91), " On the Geographia of 
Ptolemj," which entirely uoufirnis the site here aaaigned to 

' p. 805. 


meutioned a place in the valley where the canal 
had always been since the time of Ranieses II., 
and where it now runs at this present time. 

His statement corresponds very closely with 
that of Herodotos, who says that the canal 
leaves the Nile a little above Bubastis (Tell 
Basta, Zagazig). The canal very probably 
crossed several branches of the great river, as 
it does now ; and while Herodotos mentions 
the western or Bubastite branch as the head of 
this canal, so Strabo makes it start from a 
more eastward source, deriving its waters from 
the Pelusiac branch ; however, the two state- 
ments refer clearly to the same canal following 
the same direction. 

The inscriptions engraved upon the shrine 


give iiB the origiD of the Greek name of I 
Phacuaa. The Dutch scholar Van der Hardt ' 
had already remarked that this name must be 
considered as being composed of two parts, 
the name itself being cusa, preceded by the 
syllable Pa or Pka, which may be either tlie 
definite article, or the word " Pa," meaning 
"house" or "temple." Champollioii * fully 
endorsed this view, adding that tlie Coptic 
name was kuuc. Brugsch and Ebere^ have 
also advocated the correctness of this interpre- 
tation. Now we have the exact transcript of 
the Coptic Kuic in the name of Kes ^ ~^ 
which is twice found on the shrine, and 
which, with the article, would be "Pa Ees," 
or Phacusa, the capital of the Arabian nome. 

The strongest objection to this identification 
lies in the resemblance between the names of 
FakooB and Phaciiaa. It may be that Fakoos is 
the site of the Egyptian city of r, /^ © (Plrs), 
which has not yet been identified ; besides, it 
not unfrequently happens that a name is shifted 
from one place to another, the former place 
being more or less abandoned. "We know two 
villages of Beni Hassan, two villages of Korein, 
and it is not impossible that there may have 
been two Kuuc in Lower Egypt, as there are 
several in Upper Egypt. 

When Van der Hardt' interpreted the word 
Phacusa, it was not only the Egyptian form of 
the name which be discovered, but also the origin 
of the famous name of Oosftfu. He considered 
cma as the equivalent of the first syllable of 
the name 1*3, wliicli is read by the Greeks r«£re/i, 
r«(7w, Kai<r<rav, Kco-ffttf. In fact, it was near 
Phacusa that the land of Goshen was to be 
lookeil for. The Septuagiiit* call it rf<reii.'Apa- 
/S»os, Qrsem of Ai-ahia, and the Coptic translator 

' Apud .Uhlonski Op. iJ- p- 89. Vid. hisu Prof. Piiue id 
"Th* Imippendeiit," JqIt, 1885. 
' L'Egj'pie sous l«> Phan«>D», ii. p. 76. 
* Durch Gtwen kunn Sioki, 3ud e<l. p. 519. 

' GitB. ziT. la 

makes it n reCEJU, HTE TA.pAAlA.. 
The name of TA.pA.&lA., Tarabia, in Coptic 
corresponds to what the Arabs call the Sauf' 
i.e. the land between the Nile and the Bed 
Sea, which constitutes the present province of 
Sharkieh, and where the nome of Arabia was 
situate. Tradition has always located Goshen 
in that part of the country, giving to the land 
that was granted to the Israelites an extent 
which varies according to the authors. In my 
opinion, most scholars have given it too large 
an area. Fea-ifi. 'Apa^Cat I consider as having 
a definite meaning: Gesem which is in the norae 
of Arabia; it may have applied to the whole 
country occupied by the Israelites, but, pro- 
perly speaking, the name referred to a limited 

This district we find in the Temple-lists. In 
the Dendurah list we see the god who bears on 
his head the name of Sopt, of whom it is said : 

^«'?-lkS;t^'' "'" ''^■"V' thee 
Kesem of the East ;" Kesem being here written 
with the determinative of a land. In the geo- 
gi-aphical lists of Edfoo it is written ^^ ^. 
with the determinative of a city, and the text, 
which is only fragmentary, adds that it con- 
tains the statue of " the god first horn," which 
as we have seen was one of the titles of Sopt. 
Hence it is clear that ^^. « i^ ^^^J another 

form of the word S ^^ which is on the 
— e 

shrine, and I consider it as the civil name of 
the district and city in which was the temple 
of Sopt. I thus believe that we have dis- 
covered what was properly the land and town 
of Goshen, viz. the country around Saft, within 
the triangle formed by the villj^^ of Saft-, 
Bclbeis, and Tell el Kebir. 

That Goshen was the nome of Arabia is still 
further proved by the recent discovery of the 
narrative of a pilgrimage made by a woman 

* ChwupollioD, 1. I. p. 75. 

* Duem. G^ugr. Inscr. iii. :: 



through Palestine and Egypt in the fourth 
century a.d.^ In this interesting document, 
which was found at Arezzo by Mr. Gamurrini, 
occurs the following passage : * ** Desiderii 
ergo fuit ut de Clesma ad terram Gesse exire- 
mus, id est ad civitatem quas appellatiu' Arabia. 
Que civitas in terra Gesse est. Nam inde 
ipsum territorium sic appellatur, id est terra 
Arabia, terra Gesse que tamen terra Bgypti 
pars est." (Our desire was to go from Clusma 
to the land of Goshen, that is to the city of 
Arabia ; this city is in the land of Goshen, 
and the territory itself derives its name from it, 
namely, the land of Arabia, the land of Goshen, 
which, however, is part of Egypt.) Elsewhere 
the narrative again mentions the identity of 
Goshen and Arabia. I shall have occasion to 
return to this document, which must, however, 
be accepted with the caution which such narra- 
tives always require. The repeated mention of 
the fact that Arabia and Goshen are the same, 
proves, however, that it was a well-established 
tradition at the time when this pilgrim under- 
took her pious journey. 

We will now refer to other sources, and espe- 
cially to the Arabic authors. Here we find, 
first, the two translators of Genesis, Saadiah 
and Aboo Said, who for Goshen invariably 
employ Sadir. The French scholars, Silvestre 
de Sacy and Quatremere,' have determined this 
place to be a region about Abbasseh, which 
corresponds exactly to the district of Saft. 
Macrizi points nearly to the same place when 
he says that Belbeis is the land of Goshen 
which is mentioned in the Pentateuch.* Belbeis 

^ Gamurrini, I Mjsteri e gP Inni di San Ilario ed una 
Peregrinazione ai Luoghi Santi nel quarto Secolo. 

' I owe this unpublished quotation to the great courtesy 
of Mr. Gamurrini. 

' Quatremerft, Mem. G6ogr. sur I'Egjpte, i. pp. 61, 62 ; 
ih. M^moire sur le Lieu ou les Israelites trayers^rent laMer 
Rouge; Acid, des Inscr. et Belles-Lettres, t. xix. 1st part, 
p. 458 ; and the authorities quoted by Diilmann, Genesis^ 
p. 425. 

* Quatrem^re, Mem. G6ogr. i. 53. 

being at that time the principal city of the 
Hauf, which, as we have seen, corresponds to 
the Arabia of the Copts, the geographer very 
naturally cannot describe the region better than 
from the name of its capital. This opinion is 
shared by the famous Italian traveller, Pietro 
della Valle, who gives it as the Jewish tradition.* 

Others, and among them the famous Rabbi 
Benjamin of Tudela, have considered the land 
of Goshen to be what was called Ain el Schems, 
" the Spring of the Sun." This name has gene- 
rally been considered as synonymous with Helio- 
polis, the *' city of the sun," near which was a 
spring, still to be seen in the village of Matarieh. 
Many authors have connected the abode of the 
Israelites in Egypt with the country round 
Heliopolis ; a view which was entertained as 
early as the time of the Septuagint, who, men- 
tioning the cities constructed by the Israelites, 
add to Ramses and Pithom of the Hebrew text : 
" On which is Heliopolis J^^ We shall presently 
see how the origin of this connection may be 
traced in the hieroglyphic inscriptions. 

Before going further it is necessary to state 
that I fully agree with the great majority of 
Biblical scholars^ on the equivalence of the 
name of Goshen and Ramses, with this slight 
diflference — I consider Ramses as covering a 
larger area than Goshen. I believe it is not 
without reason that the Septuagint, writing 
of Heroopolis, say that it is in the land of 
Ramses, not Goshen. The name of " the land 
of Ramses " is evidently a vague name, and 
refers to a region called after this king either 
because of the great deeds he accomplished 
there, or because of the great buildings he 
erected, or because it was his favourite resort. 
It is not an administrative name. Now, at the 
time when the Septuagint made their transla- 
tion, Kesem was a definite district of the nome 
of Arabia ; a nome to which Heroopolis did not 

* Apud Jablonski, Op. ii. p. 87. * Ex. i. 11. 

"^ Jablonski, Diilmann (Genesis, p. 424), &c, 



belong. Thus, while the Hebrew text is vague 
and says : " Jacob sent Juduh before him unto 
Joseph, to show the way before him unto Qoshen," 
the Septuagint are more precise. They desire 
to record the tradition of their time, and to fix 
the place where father and son met together.' 
This place is Heroopolis, which might be said 
to belong to the laud of Ramses, for we know 
how much Rameses II. had done for Pithom 
Heroopolis. If, on the contrary, the Septuagint 
had Baid that it was in the land of rta-eft, they 
would have made a topographical error, for 
rcere/i would not have accorded with the ad- 
ministrative division of the Delta in their time. 
We have next to consider what the land of 
G-oshen was in the time of the Israelites, and 
under the Nineteenth Dynasty. The first im- 
portant fact to be noted is that iu the most 
ancient extant lists of nomes, which are those 
of the time of Seti I.,* the nome of Arabia does 
not occur ; also we find only fifteen nomes of 
Lower Egypt, instead of twenty-two, as under 
the Ptolemies.' The lists of Seti I. end with 
the nome of Heliopolis, and do not mention 
either the Bubastite (Zagazig) or the Athribite 
(Benha) nome — a circumstance which shows 
that this part of the kingdom was then not yet 
organized in provinces with a settled adminis- 
tration, each nome having its capital and its 
government. Instead of nomes we find names 
of branches of the Nile, or of marsh-lands. "We 
may therefore conclude that at the time when 

' Tw SI 'louSav iiritTTtiko' IftwpoirSty avrov vpo^ 'Iwr^, 
<mwMT^ <nu a,ir^ Koff ^paw wdXiv, cIs yijv 'Pap.€ffa^. Gen, 
xlvi. 28. 

* Duem. Geogr. Inscltr. L 92. 

* Diodorus (i. 54) avfa that the king Sesoosis (Sesostrie) 
divided Egypt into thirty-six nomes, and eatabliahed a 
goTorooi- over each. Whether we are here to consider 
Sesoosis as meaning Rameses II. or not, it is a fact that 
under the reign of his father, Seti I., Egypt was diridcd 
into thirty-seven nomes; and that from that time to the reign 
of the Ptolemies and the Romans, the nnmber of the nomee 
of Lower Egypt varied, and were increased to twenty-two or 
twenty-three, according to the time, making for the whole 
of Egypt fwrty-foor or forty-five. 

the Israelites settled in Egypt under the last 
Hyksos kings, the land of Goshen was an 
uncultivated district, not divided among Egyp- 
tian inhabitants regularly settled and governed ; 
but probably a kind of waste land, sufficiently 
watered to produce good pasturage. Thus it 
was a district which might be assigned to 
foreigners without despoiling the inhabitants of 
the country. Like the east in general, Goshen 
was under the protection of Sopt. 

That Rameses II. was a devotee of Sopt, and 
that he gave to this god a very high place 
among tlie divinities of Egypt, is also a well- 
established fact. On a wall in the temple of 
Kamak,* there is a bas-relief sculpture which 
represents Rameses II., with uplifted mace, 
striking down a number of foreign captives 
which are brought to him by two gods, Amon, 
who is of colossal proportions, being the god of 
Thebes, and Sopt, the Lord of the Bast. Know- 
ing, as we do, the magnificence of Rameses II., 
and his taste for large buildings, we may 
reasonably conclude that he did for Sopt what 
he did for Amon, and that he erected in his 
honour a temple and a city which afterwards 
became Phacusa. This seems all the more 
probable, since there still remain upon the spot 
some fragments of a colossal statue of Rameses, 
indicating a construction of importance. 

That the country for some distance around 
Sopt should be called Ramses, whether he 
organized the nomes or not, is not extra- 
ordinary. This part of Bgj'pt seems, in fact, 
to have been the l^vonrite residence of the great 
Pharaoh. We have seen that his cartouche 
is found in most parts of the Eastern Delta. 
Tanis, Pithom, Sopt, Bubastis, Heliopolis, and 
the sites now occupied by the Tells of Kantir, 
Khataanah, Fakoos, Horbeit, and Rotab, all 
bear witness to that ambition of an earthly 
immortality which caused him to sculpture his 
name throughout this part of the country. 

* Leps Deukm. iii. 144. 



Hence the land might well be called ** the 
Land of Ramses." 

Two important questions next arise : — By 
what name were Goshen and its environs known 
before the time of Rameses II. ; and does this 
name appear in the lists of Seti I., which, 
instead of the names of nomes, gives only the 
names of canals or marsh-lands ? I believe it 
is found in the lists of Abydos under the name 




the water of Ra; and 

that we have proof of it in the Great Harris 
Papyrus of the time of Rameses III. Enume- 
rating the benefits which the king confers on 
various localities, it mentions : — 

1. " The cattle which he offered to his mother, 
Bast, heads 1533. 

2. The servants which he gave to the temple 

of Bast, the lady of Bailos J n^ <=> n ^ 

^^ H '^ J^ ^ ^''^ ^^' ^^'^^ ^/ ^«* ^69- 

3. Thehouscof Rameses Hik On (Rameses III.) 

in the temple of Sutekh, in the house of Rameses 
Mer-Amon (Rameses II.) (servants ?), 106." 

Then comes (1. 4) the cattle consecrated to his 
father, the god Horns of Athribis (Benba). 

Bailos ^ has been identified by Brugsch with 
Belbeis, which belonged to the land of Goshen. 
We have seen how often the goddess Bast is 
represented on the shrine of Nectanebo, which 
shows that she was one of the principal divini- 
ties of the country. The first line, in which the 
king speaks of his mother Bast, refers most 
likely to the great temple of Bubastis towards 
the north. Line 4 mentions Athribis (Benha), 
which bounded the district on the west, so that 
our identification of " the water of Ra " with 
Goshen, and of Bailos with Belbeis, would 
meet the requirements of the text. Curiously 
enough, this expression, ^^the water of Ra^^* 
might be the origin of the name of Ain Shems 
before mentioned, and which later authors 
unanimously apply to the city of Heliopolis on 

' See the Appendix. 

account of the spring of Matarieh. It may be 
that this identification of Ain Shems with 
Heliopolis arose from the fact that the original 
meaning of the expression was lost. The con- 
fusion was, at all events, the more easy because 
Heliopolis and Goshen are closely connected. 
We have seen that the old list of nomes comes 
to an end with the nome of Heliopolis ; but if 
we examine the more recent lists, we find that 
the marsh-land (Pehu) of Pbacusa bears the 
same name as the canal belonging to the Helio- 
polite nome. The water of Phacusa came from 
the canal of Heliopolis ; therefore the district 
of Sopt must have been to a certain degree a 
dependency of Heliopolis for so long as it was 
not separately organized. This I believe to be 
the reason why so many ancient writers, from 
the Septuagint downwards, connect the site 
occupied by the Israelites with Heliopolis. 

In the meanwhile, it may be asked. Where 
was the city of Ramses ? To that question I 
am not as yet prepared to give a definite answer. 
Is it Phacusa, where we found the colossal 
statue of the king? I am inclined to think so, 
although the position of Phacusa does not 
answer to the position of Ramses in the extract 
made by Mr. Gamurrini from the before-men- 
tioned Pilgrimage. The good woman relates 
that on leaving Heroopolis she went to the land 
of Goshen, which was sixteen miles distant, 
and that she passed through Ramses, which was 
only four miles distant from the capital of Arabia. 
This city, which had been built by the Israelites 
during their captivity, was then entirely de- 
stroyed. She there beheld a great mass of 
ruins, and amid them a large si one, like the 
great stones of Thebes, on which were sculp- 
tured two colossal figures. The people of the 
place said that these figures represented Moses 
and Aaron. There also she saw a small syca- 
more-tree, said to have been planted by the 
patriarchs, and called " the Tree of Truth." 
This she was told by the Bishop of Arabia, who 
came to meet her. 

D 2 


In this narrative there are, I believe, but two 
facts to be acceptecl. We leam, in the first 
place, that the people of the fourth century still 
believed Ramses to have been in the noma of 
Arabia ; and in the second place, we find that 
the tradition of the sycamore-tree of Sopt was 
yet surviving, though clothed in Christian garb. 
It was no longer the tree of the god. It is a 
tree planted by the patriarchs, and called the 
Tree of Truth. As for the site which our tra- 
veller assigns to Ramses, I do not believe that 
we can place confidence in it, or in the distances 
which she gives. The monks who were her 
guides, passing the site of a ruined city, were 
but too likely to speak of it as the scene of some 
remarkable event, and the good woman who had 
journeyed all the way from Gaul to see these 
famous places was, of course, eager to believe 
whatever she was told. 

More important by far is the line already 
quoted from the Great Harris Papyrus, which 
I transcribe in full : 

" The house of Rameses Hik On (Rameses III.) 
in the t«mple of Sutekh, in the house of Rameses 
Mer-Amon {Rameses II.)." It comes between 
line 2, mentioning Bailos, and line 4, mentioning 

Athribis (Benha), and it shows that in this 
region there was a city called the house of 
Rameses Meri Amon (Rameses II.), containing a 
temple of Sutekh, where Rameses III. built a 
temple to his own name. It is difficult not to 
regard this Rameses as the city which is spoken 
of in connection with the land of Goshen. 

To sum up, I submit that Goshen, properly 
speaking, was the land which afterwards became 
the Arabian nome, viz. the country round Saft 
el Henneh east of the canal Abu-1-Munagge, a 
district comprising Belbeis and Abbaseh, and 
probably extending further north than the Wadi 
Tumilat. The capital of the nome was Pa Sopt, 
called by the Greeks Phacusa, now Saft el 
Henneh. At the time when the Israelites 
occupied the land, the term " Goshen " belonged 
to a region which as yet had no definite boun- 
daries, and which extended with the increase of 
the people over the territory they inhabited. 
The term " land of Ramses " applies to a larger 
area, and covers that part of the Delta which 
lies to the eastward of the Tanitic branch ; a 
country which Rameses II. enriched with in- 
numerable works of architecture, and which 
corresponds with the present province of Shar- 
kieb. As for the city of Ramses, it was situate 
in the Arabian nome. Probably it was Phacusa ; 
but the identification cannot be regarded as an 
established fact. 


About two miles towards the north-east of the 
present station of Fakoos, is a large village 
called Dedamoon. Following the course of the 
Bahr Fakoos, one presently reaches the small 
village of Khataanah^ close to which is an isbet 
(farm) belonging to a high dignitary/ On this 
farm are three mounds, which I partly ex- 
cavated during the winter of 1885. They all 
three lie within the area of a city which must 
have been large, for the land is covered with 
fragments of pottery for a considerable distance 
around. The largest of these mounds, to the 
southward, stands on the edge of the desert, 
and on the verge of the cultivated land just 
opposite Khataanah. On the top are some 
ruins of a large enclosure of crude bricks, in- 
side which the soil consists of debris of houses, 
stones, and pottery. Along the western side 
of this enclosure, the ground is covered with 
chips of calcareous stone, which clearly indicates 
that lime-burning has there been jactively carried 
on. In Lower Egypt, where stone is scarce, 
every piece of limestone is at once taken and 
burnt for lime, which accounts for the destruc- 
tion of a vast number of monuments, and espe- 
cially of those which, like many temples of the 
twelfth dynasty, were not made of hard stone. 
I worked for more than a month with about a 
hundred labourers in the area of the enclosure, 
and especially towards the western side, and 
went down as far as the water allowed. I 
found evidences of the site of a temple. On 
one side I uncovered the bases of six columns 
of calcareous stone ; on the other, a pavement 
upon which had probably stood a granite shrine ; 
but I found no inscriptions of any kind, except 

Cf. the repoi-t of M. Maspero, Zeitschr. 1885, p. 12. 

one stone bearing the two cartouches of Seti 
(pi. ix. d). One of the cartouches of this 
Pharaoh I also found upon a piece of enamelled 
pottery, which is now in the British Museum. 
I also discovered the lower part of the two 
cartouches of Si Amen (pi. ix. e), a king who 
seems to have exercised great authority in 
Lower Egypt, whose name is often found at 
Tanis, and whom I consider to be the usurper 
Herhor, the founder of the dynasty of priest- 

In the centre of the enclosure, and on the 
top of the highest mound, is a sphinx of black 
gi'anite, the head being broken off, and a much- 
erased inscription between the fore-paws. Al- 
though I made several squeezes of the inscrip- 
tion, and looked at it in all possible lights, I 
am not certain that my reading is correct ; but 
it seems to me to be the name of Sebekneferu, 
of the Thirteenth Dynasty. All around this 
sphinx I sunk very deep pits ; and at a depth 
of about ten feet, I found a few large oval 
urns containing ashes, pieces of charcoal, and 
bones. Some of the bones were decidedly those 
of animals, while others might be human. In 
and around each of these urns, I found a 
number of small pots of black and red earthen- 
ware, and some small cups and saucers. These 
pots seem to have been made for oil and per- 
fumes ; and some are so shaped that they cannot 
stand upright. Also, round about the urns, I 
found a few scarabs, two bronze knives, and 
some small flints. The little black and red 
pots are of an entirely new type ; but the ware 
of which they are made, as also the cups found 
with them, exactly resembles what is found at 

' Cf. Naville, Idsci*. de Pinot^m, p. 16. 




Abydos in tombs of the Thirteenth Dynasty. 
The evidence of the scarabs is, however, con- 
clusive, since one of them is inscribed with the 
name of a king of that period. We have thus 
a burial-place of the Thirteenth Dynasty, which 
corresponds with the name I deciphered on 
the sphinx, and is consequently anterior to the 
time of the Hyksos kings. I found but a few 
of these urns ; all were broken in many pieces, 
and I could not discover whether the fragments 
of bones which they contained were human 
or not. If human J it would be important to 
know that the dead were sometimes burnt 
under the Thirteenth Dynasty, and not always 
mummified. This would be a most curious 
discovery in a country where so much care 
was taken to preserve the bodies of the 

The isbet or farm of Khataanah is situate 
about half a mile farther north, in the direction 
of the Bahr Fakoos. Two years ago, the fella- 
heen, when digging for sebakh, came across a 
very large block of red granite, which had 
formed the lintel-stone of a doorway, possibly 
leading to the temple. This lintel was sup- 
ported by two pillars also of granite, one of 
which is yet extant, but broken in two. The 
presence of water, and the necessity of not 
endangering the neighbouring houses, pre- 
vented me from digging as much as I should 
have desired, and I could not turn the lintel, 
because of its enormous weight. However, I 
dug down to the original pavement of the door- 
way, and I contrived to turn the fragments of 
the pillai'. These fragments were inscribed 
with the names of three kings of the Twelfth 
Dynasty : Amenemha I. on the lintel (pi. ix. a 1); 
on one of the sides of the pillar, TTsertesen III. 
(a 3) ; and another Amenemha, who must be 
Amenemha III., as it is said that he renewed 
what his father, Usertesen, had made. To the 
previous dynasty, the eleventh, must be attri- 
buted a statuette of black granite found also on 
the land of the ishetf and which belonged to a 

queen called Sent^ whose name is preceded by 
the usual titles (pi. ix. b). 

Further north, but still within the area of 
the old city, is another mound called Tell Aboo 
el Feloos. I here found nothing but Roman 
pottery. The place is distinctly an old Roman 
settlement. Between the Tell and the Bahr 
Fakoos are two wells of cement, which are also 
undoubtedly Roman. 

No geographical name has turned up; we 
therefore do not know how this city was called, 
though it must have been a large and important 
place, and have lasted a long time, considering 
that it contains relics dating as early as the 
Twelfth Dynasty, and others as late as the 
Twenty-first. When this city was abandoned, 
we know not. Perhaps the Romans themselves 
contributed to its destruction when they occu-» 
pied Tell Aboo el Feloos, which possibly was 
only a camp situate on the Pelusiac brand), the 
bed of which is easily traceable at the foot of 
the mound. It may, perhaps, be one of those 
military stations mentioned in the "Notitia 
Dignitatum," of which oiily a very small number 
have been identified.^ 

Under the Nineteenth Dynasty, when the 
tenjple of Khataanah was yet standing, another 
had been built, about three miles further north, 
on the site of the present village of Kantir. 
I had been told of a great granite block there, 
and I went over to look at it. It is the base 
of a large column bearing the ovals of Rameses 
II. All around this village are cultivated fields, 
and the people told me that they oftpn came 
across antiquities. For instance^ they brought 
me a small broken tablet which is now at the 
Bulak Museum (pi. ix. p). A fellah showed 
me in his field a basalt base inscribed with 
beautiful hieroglyphs of B ameses II . That some 
important buildings had once occupied this site 
was, however, conclusively proved in the course 
of a visit which I paid to an old bey who 

* Cf. Parthey, Zur Erdkunde Aegjptene, pi. 8. 



is one of tho great landowners of Kantir. He 
offered to show me some inscribed stones which 
he had at his house, and I followed him to a 
small chamber in the farmyard, where there lay 
a heap of stones, the remains of a much greater 
number which the bey had found in his garden, 
and which had been burnt for lime. Among 
them were parts of the side-pillars of a door, 
inscribed with the cartouche of Rameses II., 
followed by the words which ended the inscrip- 
tion, ^^5^/\f '*'^^^ ^i^i^^9 90^''' Other 
fragments, also of limestone, were scattered in 
various parts of the farm. The slab which 
formed the lintel of the door was covered with 
manure, and when cleansed, it disclosed the 
name of Rameses II. (pi. ix. G 1). The base of 
a column was used as a step to get into one of 
the rooms ; it bears an inscription which speaks 
of the king as " the good god who is a lion 
against the Phoenicians^ and who loves Set " 
(pi. ix. G 2). When I went first to Kantir, at 
the end of January, the water was too near the 
surface of the soil to permit of any attempt at 
excavation. I went again in the month of April, 
with Mr. Petrie. The harvest had not yet 
been gathered, and it was not possible to work. 

We attempted to secure the inscribed stones 
which we saw in the farm of the old bey, but 
although we offered a very high price, he would 
not part from them, and it is only too likely 
that they now have shared the fate of the rest. 
We may, however, conclude from these scanty 
remains that at Kantir there must have been 
a temple built by Rameses II., and, judging 
from the size of the granite block still extant, 
that it must have been of some importance. 
Although I most carefully examined all the 
fragments in the farmyard, I could not discover 
any geographical name. We see, however, that 
Rameses was called the " good god." and that 
he worshipped Set. The tablet which I pur- 
chased at Kantir (pi. ix. f) indicates that Amon 
was also worshipped there, with the peculiar 
title, ** he ivho finds the way " or '* the far re- 
moved. ^^ At first sight the name of the king 
seems to indicate Rameses III. ; it is not, how- 
ever, impossible that it may be Rameses II., who 
in several instances attributed to himself the 
title of Prince of On,^ which afterwards became 
the distinctive name of Rameses III. 

^ Lep8. Eonigsbuch, pL 33. 


In the Wadi Tumilat, on the border of the 
desert, one raile south of the lock of Kassassin, 
stands the mound called Tell Rotab (pi. xi.). 
It is situate near the remains of the ancient 
canal, and consists of a brick enclosure which, 
except on the north side, is nearly perfect. 
The enclosed area is about 400 metres long 
and 160 wide. The ground rises very con- 
siderably towards the middle, and on the top 
stands a rough granite block without any in- 
scription. The large bricks with which the 
enclosure is built, cause it to look very like 
that of Tell el Maskhutah, with this difference, 
that,instead of being carefully built with cement, 
the bricks seem to have been piled over one 
another in great haste, at least in that part of 
the enclosure which is above the sand (pi. xi., 
section). Being anxious to identify the sites 
of the Wadi Tumilat, I made an attempt to 
excavate at Tell Rotab, which was entirely un- 
successful. The great number of fragments of 
hard stone which bestrew the mound, the 
numerous remains of brick houses, and the 
large granite block, caused me to hope that 
something interesting might perhaps be dis- 
covered; but this, unfortunately, was not the 
case. I cut trenches and sunk pits more than 
30 feet deep, as indicated on the map ; but the 
result was very trifling. I found two other 
granite blocks as large as the first, but without 
inscriptions ; a fragment of limestone with the 
second cartouche of Rameses II.; abronze sword, 
or rather an Egyptian ^^ i) khopsh^ now in the 
British Museum; and apiece of a blue enamelled 
saucer bearing this inscription written in cha- 
racters of the style of the Saite period (pi. ix. i) : 
" in his elevation : the chief of the prophets of 
the gods^ the lords of^* . . . Despite a most 

careful search, I could never find the other 
fragments ; and although no very trustworthy 
evidence might be derived from a small frag- 
ment, the geographical name which ought to 
have followed exactly where the saucer is 
broken, might perhaps have given us a clue for 
the identification. I also found a few scarabs ; 
one inscribed with the name of Rameses II., 
and another with a name which seems to be Si 

The resemblance of this place to Tell el Mas- 
khutah induced me to begin on the western side, 
where I supposed the temple would have been ; 
but I there found, as elsewhere throughout the 
Tell, only a bed of black soil interspersed with 
layers of lime and charred ashes. At the top 
T found a few large jars, each with a smaller 
one inside, containing ashes. This must have 
been a burial-place of later time. Brick walls 
and remains of houses are also extant on the 
Tell ; but it contains no storehouses like those 
of Pithom. The place seems to have been in- 
habited during a long period ; the scanty re- 
mains discovered showing that it wa« occupied 
under the Nineteenth Dynasty. The houses 
were built and rebuilt on the same spot during 
so many centuries that their ruins have caused 
an accumulation of more than thirty feet of 
artificial soil, which I had to cut through before 
I reached the natural soil. The houses after a 
time stood higher than the enclosure wall, which 
they entirely covered on the northern side. 

The most interesting part of the work was 
when cutting through the enclosure, which I 
did on three sides. I thus discovered that the 
original enclosure on the southern and eastern 
sides was below the present soil, and of the 
best workmanship. The bricks are among the 



largest I saw in Egypt, being more than 16 
inches long, which indicates the time of the 
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynasties.^ The 
ground having risen inside, the enclosure was 
perhaps not sufficiently high, and the inhabi- 
tants were compelled to build another. They 
did not, however, take pains to build the second 
wall as well as the first ; they merely took the 
old bricks and put them roughly together, 
making it considerably wider than at first. On 
the eastern side, they built it partly on the 
old enclosure and partly on the soil, which is 
there perfectly clean sand. On the southern 
side, they built it on the sand inside the old 
wall, which is still perfect, and where one sees 
a recessing of the brick-work which must have 
been a pathway used for the defence. Curiously, 
the eastern side is made of bricks of two different 
descriptions, the upper ones being made of the 
ordinary Nile mud, while the lower are of a 
kind of bluish sand which has become as hard 

^ Petrie, The Domestic Remains of Ancient Egjpt, p. 16. 

as the mud. These last are even larger than 
the upper ones, for they exceed 17 inches in 
length. On the west side, where the original 
enclosure seems to have been destroyed, the 
workmen or soldiers who built the second wall 
made up for good workmanship by great thick- 

The whole place indicates a camp, probably 
of late Roman time. It must have been one of 
the military stations posted along the course of 
the canal leading to the Red Sea, and it may 
have been another of the garrisons mentioned 
in the "Notitia Dignitatum." From the 
quantity of sling stones which are on the Tell, 
one may gather that it was a camp of slingers. 
No Roman inscription was found. The map 
shows all the trenches and pits which I made 
at Tell Rotab. Further excavations might 
lead to the discovery of some inscribed 
fragment, but it would be quite fortuitous ; 
and there are no external indications to du'ect 
the excavator to one place rather than to 




It is most desirable that the site of this city 
should be identified from monuments found on 
the spot. Our documentary knowledge of it is 
founded upon two texts only ; i.e. the passage 
from the Great Harris Papyrus quoted above, 
and another from the famous inscription of 
Menephtah, whom I believe to be the king of 
the Exodus, and who repelled an invasion of 
foreign nations in the fifth year of his reign. 

The passage from the inscription of Meneph- 
tah at Thebes reads thus in Dr. Duemichen's 
edition (Hist. Inschr. i. pi. 2, 1. 7) : 


/WWW ^ ^ #^^ 


Brugsch translates from this reading (Geogr. 
Diet. p. 77): 

. . . their tents in front of the city of Pi 
BailoSy near the canal Shalcana^ on the north of 
the canal Ati {of Heliopolid). 

De Rough's version (Inscr. Hier. pi. 180) 
shows the following differences : — 

1 vv cr^ III 1 &i; 5 II e^^a iiJ \> 

The end of the sentence he translates : making a 

tvell (?) to draw water . . . (Pierret, Lex. p. 601). 

A revision which I made myself in 1869 from 

Duemichen's copy confirms De Rough's version, 

especially in the group ^"^ where the cs> is 

quite distinct. Thus it cannot be ''north;'' 
while De Rougd's translation " draw " is corro- 
borated. Whatever discrepancy there has been 
in the translations, the two copies agree as to 
the last word, which Brugsch considers as the 
name (which occurs elsewhere) of the canal of 
Heliopolis (Brugsch, Diet. Geog. p. 76). I 
need only point to the great interest of the 
line following, written, it is to be remembered, 
in the time of Menephtah. It says that " the 
country around was not cultivated^ hut left as 
pasture for cattle because of the strangers. It 
was abandoned since the time of the ancestors " 
(cf. Rouge, M6m. sur les Attaques dirig^es 
centre TEgypte, p. 39 ; Brugsch, Gesch. Aeg. 
p. 569). 


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